Nov.4 (PREMIUM TIMES) — The extremist Boko Haram sect has denied killing late General Mamman Shuwa, a news website, Newsdiary, is reporting.
The website quoted a spokesperson of the sect as having told journalists by teleconference in Maiduguri that his sect was not responsible for the assassination of the retired general.
The report said the public broadcaster, the Nigeria Television Authority, also reported the sect’s denial on its prime time news programme at 9.00p.m. on Sunday.
The sect also reportedly denied being responsible for the killing of a business associate of a former governor who was murdered recently.
PREMIUM TIMES later confirmed the report.
Some men, described by the JTF as unknown gunmen, had on Friday shot dead General Shuwa, a war veteran and statesman.
Witnesses said the retired general and Nigerian civil war veteran, was shot multiple times in front of his house at the lower Gwange area of the troubled city.
Mr. Shuwa was one of few residents of the area who had not vacated their houses as a result of the persistent violence around their neighbourhoods.
A good number of residents deserted their homes after the JTF reportedly went on rampage about two weeks ago after an Improvised Explosive Device planted on their route exploded and killed a lieutenant and six soldiers.
Soldiers reportedly burnt many houses and fired indiscriminately leading to the death of several civilians.
A source at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital said Mr. Shuwa died at the hospital after he was rushed there. The deceased was buried on Friday in line with Islamic injunction.
The Joint Task Force (JTF), in Maiduguri, later confirmed Mr. Shuwa’s death.
In a statement by its spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, the JTF said the general was shot in his house by four men, who were initially thought to be his guest for the Islamic Jumaat (Friday) prayers.
They entered the house and opened fire on the General and his visitors.
“One of the guests died on the spot while the general died on the way to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital,” the statement said.
The JTF said its troops in the area immediately cordoned off the area and that a search for the assailants was underway.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet but the extremist Boko Haram sect is suspected to be behind the murder.
The assassinated general was active in dialogues by the government with the people of Borno state to end the Boko Haram insurgency.
Shortly after his appointment, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, held meeting with the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, alongside elders of the state including the the shot General Shuwa.
Amnesty International, a human rights group, has accused the Nigerian security agencies of extrajudicially killing innocent citizens under the guise of hunting down Boko Haram insurgents.